As we start a new year full of possibilities, we look at the advancement of technology and how it is developing to improve all aspects of our lives. Last year has shown us that we depend on technology for work, entertainment, learning and connection. Here are the top trends to take notice of this year…
Artificial Intelligence, or AI, has been brewing in the background for a long time but it continues to be the subject of many tech-head’s conversations due to the notable effect it will have on our everyday lives. It’s still early days for the technology, it’s already well known as smartphone personal assistants, navigation apps, speech and image recognition and more. The AI market will grow to a $190 billion industry by 2025 with global spending allowing it to reach across many sectors, with business implementing it into the everyday.
The rise of the smart watch has been huge over the past few years, with Apple and Android boasting the various features of tracking and recording a person’s health. Sales surged again in lockdowns in 2020 when the threat of poor health having harsher consequences left many questioning their daily routines. Running apps, such as the NHS Couch to 5K was downloaded more than a million times in 2020 and the company Pelaton, makers of the famous fitness bike, found ways to remotely teach their classes and get people moving through their screens. This transformation in mindset about health and fitness will have a huge effect on the technology that supports it, and it will not be stopping in 2021.
Leading on from wearable tech comes Digital Health which has been accelerated in the Healthcare sectors due to Covid-19. Innovation is no longer a choice – it’s a necessity and therefore, the once ‘slower-to-adjust’ industry has been spring boarded into the 21st Century.
The World Health Organization explains “the vision of the global strategy is to improve health for everyone, everywhere but accelerating the development and adoption of appropriate, affordable scalable, and sustainable digital health solutions”. Forbes pointed out this included “smart and connected devices, advanced computing, big data analysis, artificial intelligence, machine learning and robotics. If there’s one thing Covid-19 has shown society at large, it’s how quickly we can adapt, innovate and create when we need to. And as technology continues to embed itself into every facet of our everyday lives, our ‘new normal’ will continue to evolve faster and faster’’
Whether you agree or not with the morality of such technology, it’s coming. 5G will give you the ability to download instantly by having a mind-blowing bandwidth. Your 4G devices, for example, can download 200 megabits per second (on a good day!) but 5G will have the ability to download 1 Gigabit (that’s 1000 megabits!) per second. Everything will happen faster.
Many suggest that mobile 5G is the least exciting addition to what the new technology will bring us, as ‘smart cities’ will grow in this new age. Electric and compatible cars will be able to talk to each other autonomously and be aware of each other and their surroundings like pedestrians and cyclists, reducing the number of road incidents per year. Traffic lights will be connected to each other and working together to improve traffic flow, practically anything electric will be able to become ‘aware’ and connected allowing us to identify any issues long before we ordinarily would.
IoB is an upcoming trend that you’ll be hearing more of in 2021. Larger companies and various businesses are taking advantage of technology to monitor consumer and customer behaviours. Some of the effective tools here already exist such as location tracking, big data and facial recognition. This is not a wholly new idea as some shopping centres have already tapped into it by tracking the Bluetooth on people’s phones and seeing where most customers are drawn to within the building. These ‘hotspots’ are then highlighted, and stores are rearranged so the customers fall into the marketing trap. According to a prediction by Gartner, more than half of the global population will be under an IoB tool by 2025.
Are you surprised by any of these things that made the list?
Are you excited for 5G?
There are certainly some things to think about here!